Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater Announces First Meeting and New Web Site for the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force
WHO: Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force
WHAT: First meeting of the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force
WHEN: Friday, Feb. 25, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: The Capitol, Room 301C, 400 South Monroe St., Tallahassee, Fla. 32399
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the first meeting of the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force. The Strike Force was created during the 2010 Legislative Session to increase the effectiveness of programs and initiatives that work to prevent, detect and prosecute Medicaid and public assistance fraud. CFO Atwater serves as Chair and Attorney General Bondi serves as Vice Chair of the 11-member Strike Force.
“Medicaid and public assistance fraud cost the state more than $2 billion a year and limit the resources that are available to citizens who are actually in need,” said CFO Jeff Atwater. “I am eager to get our first meeting underway and start developing new solutions to the fraud in our Medicaid and public assistance programs that has been plaguing the state’s budget for years.”
“My office has been dedicated to fighting Medicaid fraud for years, recovering nearly $500 million since 2007, and we are committed to continuing these efforts,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi. “I look forward to working with the Medicaid and Public Assistance Strike Force to uphold the law and protect taxpayers.”
The state’s Medicaid program accounts for 25 percent of Florida's budget. The level of fraud is estimated to account for up to 10 percent of the Medicaid budget. State economists indicate that Medicaid is the state’s biggest cost driver, with projected increases in Medicaid possibly exceeding $400 million this year. From 2005 through 2010, the Public Assistance Fraud Unit referred $18 million in program benefits fraud for prosecution. So far this fiscal year, the unit has received approximately 24,000 referrals for suspected public assistance fraud.
The agenda for the first Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force meeting is attached. For more information about the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force or to report fraud, please visit www.myfloridacfo.com/StrikeForce
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services including the Division of Insurance Fraud. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending.